Our 2011 event at www.OneMileRunner.com, “5 Wonders Under 25 Minutes,” began on Sunday May 29th. Sekyen and I flew to Phoenix on Thursday to meet the One Mile Runner team. We then traveled about 4.5 hours to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We had a sunset photo shoot planned after I took an easy run in the high altitude. On the run around the Canyon roads, I could feel the difference in my breathing at 6700 feet. During our photo shoot, we enjoyed a beautiful, pleasant night of weather. If you have never been to the Grand Canyon, when it gets dark – it really gets dark and makes it difficult to walk around (last buses come around at 8:30pm).
We finished the photo shoot at sunrise on Saturday and we could feel the weather begin to change as the winds were increasing. After getting up at 4am for the photo shoot, a good nap was in order to prepare for the race tomorrow. We relaxed Saturday afternoon watching the Grand Canyon IMAX film, playing cards, and getting final instructions from Charlie Olbrias from The Last Mile Racing Management Company as we had one of his summer interns with us on this trip. A “high wind advisory” was put into effect for the rest of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. So we had another challenge at The Canyon from Mother Nature besides the high altitude. The One Mile Runner team met again in the evening before going over everyone’s responsibilities at sunrise on Sunday.
Sunday we all awoke at 4am and drove to the south rim and took a bus out to our finish line at Hermit’s Rest (the western most point on the south rim). The race begins at Pima Point and goes to Hermit’s Rest. The course is uphill at the beginning and downhill near the end before a nice flat finish. The race started at 6:30am at about 50 degrees. I finished the mile course in 4 minutes, 54 seconds, and 7/100ths of a second (4:54.07). We had two cameras videotaping the race on this holiday weekend, so please enjoy the short video of the race:
I wanted to thank the wonderful team all weekend. They did a superb job under difficult conditions! Our second race is scheduled on June 25th “across the pond” at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.